October 2nd, 2007
09:17 AM ET
12 years ago

Top Democrat slams Limbaugh over 'phony soldiers'

Reid had some harsh words for Rush Limbaugh Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid slammed Rush Limbaugh Monday over his recent controversial "phony soldiers" remark, despite the conservative talk-radio host's protests that his words have been taken out of context.

Limbaugh's comments in question came last Wednesday when he and a caller were discussing critics of the Iraq war:

"What's really funny is, they [Iraq war critics] never talk to real soldiers," the caller said. "They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media."

"The phony soldiers," Limbaugh then said.

Several Democrats released statements late last week condemning the remarks and in a speech on the Senate floor Monday, Reid called the comments "so beyond the pale of decency that it cannot be left alone."

"Just as patriotism is the exclusive realm of neither party, taking a stand against those who spew hate and impugn the integrity of our troops is a job that belongs to all of us," Reid said.

"I can’t help but wonder how my Republican colleagues would have reacted if the tables were turned – if a well-known Democratic radio personality had used the same insulting line of attack against troops who support the war," the Nevada Democrat added.

Responding to his critics on Friday's show, Limbaugh said he was "taken out of context," adding his remark was referring to one soldier specifically - Jesse MacBeth, a vocal war critic who falsely claimed to have served in Iraq.

"The effort here is simply to discredit people that they consider effective and powerful on the right ginning up, leading up into the '08 elections," Limbaugh said Friday.

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Filed under: Harry Reid • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (357 Responses)
  1. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio


    I don't like the war any more than you do, but I also don't think supporting withdrawal is the same as supporting defeat. The war in Iraq has evolved into a civil war and I've yet to see any concrete, non-partisan, evidence stating otherwise. For example, I would rather the USA re-deploy the same troops to Afghanistan to go after Bin Laden and Co.

    There may be people out there who "invest in the triumph of our enemies" (BTW, good phrase) and I would agree that it is borderline traitorous. However, by and large the people in the USA who want withdrawal aren't cheering for the enemy. They simply don't see a viable, sustainable, winnable situation in Iraq. For the record I did support the initial Iraq invasion and I supported the initial goals. Overtime though, it has become apparent to me that a solution to the Iraq war is unattainable. In the end though, you will have your opinions and I will have mine; so we will just have to agree to disagree. This thread isn’t a debate about Iraq, so we should probably stick to the subject at hand.

    October 3, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio


    This is one hell of a post, excellent job!

    October 3, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. mike, ortonville, MI

    Reid is a duplictous, slimy little pig of a man. He takes the comments completely out of context – YES OUT OF CONTEXT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN READ LOOK IT UP, and smears him on the Senate floor. Come out into the open you little coward, go on Rush's show and discuss this with him face to face.

    October 3, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jeffrey Berger, Mount Dora Florida

    I am speaking on behalf of my daughter who is in Iraq right now (third time), who is a liberal democrat, who opposes the war, yet does her job regardless of hardships and hazards, who has earned two bronze stars and seven distinguished service citations for her performance. "Phoney soldier" indeed.

    Since 9/11, my daughter has missed every family milestone – every holiday, every birth, and every death. I call it “Family Interrupted.” With each passing year, there is always the empty place at the family dinner table. I watch the evening news and note the losses of other families, hoping my daughter’s name will never appear on a casualty list. "Phoney soldier" indeed.

    I think you can well understand my rage over this remark.

    About that Jingo Limbo comment, it offends me to the point of wanting to hunt him down like a dog and push in his face and pluck out his eyes.

    October 3, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Jason Sniff, St. Louis, MO

    I feel sorry for Rush and his disciples who appear to have such a hard time taking criticism or admitting fault. I see a lot of name calling from the posts supporting Rush and denouncing Democrats and Harry Reid. It continues to surprise me how sensitive the right is to criticism, while at the same time their main tactics in any discussion remain insults, platitudes, and bullying. Let me try to put this situation in terms the radical right can understand, because I fear some of the posts from other liberal voices are too grammatically correct and polite not to be lost.

    Rush Limbaugh is an idiot! He refers to phony (note that this is spelled with a “ph”, not an “f” you right wing morons) “soldiers” (again, note the plurality of this word), not phony “soldier”. It would be helpful if he mentioned who these other phony soldiers are? Let’s see, there’s Jesse Macbeth………and who!? Who! Please tell us who these other phony soldiers are, because Rush seems to CLEARLY be stating that the soldiers (again plural) that are anti-war, speaking on behalf of the “left”, are phony soldiers. Would Rush or any of you be so courageous as to speak to these anti-war soldiers and discuss how phony they are? There are plenty of them other than the infamous Jesse Macbeth, so I’m sure they would be willing to hear you inform them of their phony service.

    You right wing whining cry babies, who’s support of our country consists of a bumper sticker, make me sick! You attack and attack, but are completely incapable of honest dialogue or owning up to mistakes and errors in judgment. You balk at even the idea that you should have to make sacrifices here at home to pay for the war effort you claim to support. Pathetic!

    If Rush were truly the “man” he believes he is he should either apologize for painting those who disagree with him with such a broad brush or invite other soldiers he claims to be phony on his show to discuss their service. My guess is this weak, pathetic, man will do neither.

    October 8, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. kevin midlnad texas

    I heard the whole show that day. What happened was someone took PART of what he said and has tried to make it sound like something that it wasnt. Rush need not say "sorry" when he did nothing wrong. The reporters and information gatherers have lied and made a bunch of people look really stupid for believing them.

    October 11, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Jarvis Battiest

    Democrats are all about the next elections. You see so many derogatory comments made by democratic party leaders about the soldiers, that I being a foriegner in this country feel very bad about and sorry for these brave people betting their lives on the front. Any one having a common sense cannot end the war as it is. It is not only important to USA, but also to the entire world that we can fight terrorism. I bet not a single democrat leader has any plan to end this war without furhter destabilising the middle east. Slogan or speech to end the war is not sufficient, a plan to do it without destabilising the area is important. But, I totally agree that the reason to begin Iraq invasion was not warranted. If WMD is a reason, probably North Korea, Iran must have been attacked before Iraq.

    November 16, 2007 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
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